Judge rules in favor of hospital requiring employees to have vaccination with 170 likely to be fired

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by employees of a Houston hospital system over its requirement that all of its staff be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Houston Methodist Hospital system suspended 178 employees without pay last week over their refusal to get vaccinated. Of them, 117 sued seeking to overturn the requirement and over their suspension and threatened termination.

In a scathing ruling Saturday, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston deemed lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridges´ contention that the vaccines are ‘experimental and dangerous’ to be false and otherwise irrelevant. 

People gather to protest Houston Methodist Hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital in Baytown, Texas

People gather to protest Houston Methodist Hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital in Baytown, Texas

People gather to protest Houston Methodist Hospital system’s rule of firing any employee who is not immunized at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital in Baytown, Texas

Jennifer Bridges, left, leads people marching past protest Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to protest against the hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

Jennifer Bridges, left, leads people marching past protest Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to protest against the hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

Jennifer Bridges, left, leads people marching past protest Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to protest against the hospital system’s rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

[embedded content]

He also found that her likening the vaccination requirement to the Nazis’ forced medical experimentation on concentration camp captives during the Holocaust to be ‘reprehensible.’

Hughes also ruled that making vaccinations a condition of employment was not coercion, as Bridges contended.

“Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus,” Hughes wrote in a five-page decision. “It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer. 

‘Bridges can freely choose to accept or refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; however, if she refuses, she will simply need to work somewhere else. If a worker refuses an assignment, changed office, earlier start time, or other directive, he may be properly fired. Every employment includes limits on the worker’s behavior in exchange for remuneration. That is all part of the bargain,’ Hughes concluded.

Jennifer Bridges (pictured), who was among the suspended, was\s leading 117 employees in a lawsuit against the hospital which has now been thrown out

Jennifer Bridges (pictured), who was among the suspended, was\s leading 117 employees in a lawsuit against the hospital which has now been thrown out

Jennifer Bridges (pictured), who was among the suspended, was\s leading 117 employees in a lawsuit against the hospital which has now been thrown out 

Protesters wave at cars that honk at them to support the protest against Houston Methodist Hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

Protesters wave at cars that honk at them to support the protest against Houston Methodist Hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

Protesters wave at cars that honk at them to support the protest against Houston Methodist Hospital system’s rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

Marc Bloom (pictured), CEO of the hospital system, released a statement saying he stands by the decision to make employees get vaccinated

Marc Bloom (pictured), CEO of the hospital system, released a statement saying he stands by the decision to make employees get vaccinated

Marc Bloom (pictured), CEO of the hospital system, released a statement saying he stands by the decision to make employees get vaccinated

The judge said Texas law only protected employees from being fired for refusing to commit an illegal act and that the requirement is consistent with public policy. 

Jared Woodfill, a Houston lawyer representing Bridges and the other clients, promised an appeal.

‘All of my clients continue to be committed to fighting this unjust policy,’ Woodfill said in a statement. 

‘What is shocking is that many of my clients were on the front line treating COVID-positive patients at Texas Methodist Hospital during the height of the pandemic. As a result, many of them contracted COVID-19. As a thank you for their service and sacrifice, Methodist Hospital awards them a pink slip and sentences them to bankruptcy.’

‘No one should be forced to put something into their body if they’re not comfortable with it,’ Jennifer Bridges, a nurse who has worked at the hospital for more than six years, told The Texan

‘People trying to force you to put something into your body that you’re not comfortable with, in order to keep your job, is just insane. I’m not an anti-vax person. If you want to get it, by all means, get it. I don’t take that away from anybody Just let everybody have a choice and the right to make their own decision.’

Employees had a June 7 deadline to complete their immunization.

The federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in December 2020 that employers could legally set vaccine requirements for their workforce, with certain exceptions. 

The hospital system became the first in the U.S. to set a coronavirus vaccine requirement in April. 

Houston Methodist hospital suspended 170 employees who failed to get vaccinated by the June 7 deadline have been suspended for two weeks without pay. Many will likely now be fired

Houston Methodist hospital suspended 170 employees who failed to get vaccinated by the June 7 deadline have been suspended for two weeks without pay. Many will likely now be fired

Houston Methodist hospital suspended 170 employees who failed to get vaccinated by the June 7 deadline have been suspended for two weeks without pay. Many will likely now be fired

District Judge Lynn Hughes upheld Houston Methodist Hospital's policy mandating the employees be vaccinated

District Judge Lynn Hughes upheld Houston Methodist Hospital's policy mandating the employees be vaccinated

District Judge Lynn Hughes upheld Houston Methodist Hospital’s policy mandating the employees be vaccinated

‘As health care workers we must do everything possible to keep our patients safe and at the center of everything we do,’ said the hospital system’s CEO, Marc Bloom in an email to employees.

‘By choosing to be vaccinated, you are leaders – showing our colleagues in health care what must be done to protect our patients, ourselves, our families and our communities.’

The hospital system first told its administrative staff and new hires to get vaccinated by mid-April before extending the deadline to early June.

Two employees chose to leave the hospital system instead of getting vaccinated at the time. 

The system also offered employees $500 if they got vaccinated early on in the rollout of the shots. 

People bring signs to protest Houston Methodist Hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

People bring signs to protest Houston Methodist Hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

People bring signs to protest Houston Methodist Hospital system’s rule of firing any employee who is not immunized 

In a Tuesday memo, Bloom called the lawsuit frivolous and said it was pleased with the judge’s decision.

24,947 employees had complied with the vaccination requirement and that 27 of the 178 others had received the first of a two-dose vaccine and wouldn’t be fired if they got their second. 

The rest are subject to termination.

Houston Methodist staff who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine so far and their supporters participated in a gathering and march

Houston Methodist staff who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine so far and their supporters participated in a gathering and march

Houston Methodist staff who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine so far and their supporters participated in a gathering and march

People gather to say a prayer while gathering to protest against Houston Methodist Hospital

People gather to say a prayer while gathering to protest against Houston Methodist Hospital

People gather to say a prayer while gathering to protest against Houston Methodist Hospital

People march past Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to protest against the hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

People march past Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to protest against the hospital system's rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

People march past Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to protest against the hospital system’s rule of firing any employee who is not immunized

He also wrote that 285 other employees received medical or religious exemptions, and 332 were deferred because they were pregnant or for some other reason.

Three vaccines received emergency authorization in the United States, though they have not received full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The vaccines will be allowed as long as the country remains in a state or emergency related to COVID-19, which will be until March 2022 under the current schedule. 

Vaccine suppliers must submit six months worth of clinical data to the FDA for full approval, and the application to receive full approval often takes six months to review. 

Currently, only Pfizer has applied for full approval. 

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 244 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply